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Yak-1 squadrons of the Luftwaffe

Trophy Yak-1 under the pilotage of German pilots. The history of heroism and treachery, unique documents, and even a bit of Photoshop will be in this story. The whole truth about our fighters the Germans, from the specialist Aviation World.

In a previous article we talked about how it was found the name of flyer “Airacobra” – Lieutenant Gorovtseva, buyout was shot down by the Germans captured the Yak-1.

Fully disclose the topic of using the Luftwaffe fighters captured Soviet documentary story Eugene Porfir’eva.

During the work with archival documents I repeatedly had to deal with the various episodes that go beyond simple air combat. Yellowing of the time sheets of archival affairs brought us through the years, not only statements of account of aircraft and engines, not only premium sheets describing the exploits of our pilots and lists did not return from a mission, but also examples of completely unnecessary offensive losses. Of course, most of these documents is dedicated to the combat operation and is full of examples of heroism of our pilots and to talk about them can be infinitely long, but now I would like to mention one little-known wide range of readers incident that occurred in April 1943 and embodying the examples of both heroism and bravery and cowardice, which became the result of a fatal combination of circumstances.
April 16, 1943, after the start of “Operation Neptune”, the Supreme Command was decided to redeploy the Kuban major aviation groups. April 17, 1943 Yak-1291 IAP, were part of the 3 IAK, took off from an airfield in Rossosh Rostov-on-Don.Further, their route had to lie across the airfield Staronizhnesteblievskaya Tikhoretsk Krasnodar airfield site. However, the route in the lead squadron Jacob navigator Pe-2 senior lieutenant Karimov, despite quite tolerable weather conditions, lost his bearings and led his group in the afternoon on April 17 instead of Rostov in even the German occupation of Taganrog.
Most likely our planes took to the German airfield “Taganrog-West”, the current “Taganrog-Central”, located on the western outskirts of the city. Airfield second airport “Taganrog-Zuid” (now the factory “Taganrog-South”) was located on the shore of the Gulf of Taganrog and Rostov to confuse it with the impossible. On the contrary, “Taganrog-West” is close to a wide Miusskaya estuary, which comes in to land from the west or north-west, it is possible to take over Don.Unsuspecting squadron stood in a circle over the airfield and enemy fighters began landing approach:
From the order of the Deputy People’s Commissar of Defense, Marshal of Aviation AA Novikov number 0318 on April 27, 1943 “The poor of leading aircraft Pe-2 1st BAC Fighter 3rd IAK”:
“Despite the open enemy artillery fire because of the (anti-aircraft artillery), three Yak-1, led by commander Squadron 291 th Regiment Egorov landed in Taganrog and fell into the hands of the enemy. 3 Yak-1 was shot down by the enemy on circle the airfield and there last fall. The remaining four aircraft with the criminal leader returned to the airfield growth.
“According to his pilot 402. IAP Soviet Union Hero SP Shpunyakova immediately sat triple in equity Alexei Yegorov Gavrilovic, Lieutenant Edinarhova Ivan Jakovljevic and another pilot Sergeant Oleg Mikhailovich Gorbachev. Aircraft parked not zarulivaet and switch off the engine next to the runway. Apparently everything that happened was for the Germans no less a surprise, therefore, anti-aircraft fire was opened only on the following approach procedure triple and a shrunken “Yaks” rushed to the German soldiers. In this situation, help stranded on an enemy airfield fellow squadron pilots else could do nothing. Ammunition planes were available only in Rostov.
Egorov, who had been out of the cab and began to shoot a gun and was killed by the ensuing firefight. Edinarhova plane caught fire during a firefight, the pilot had not left his cabin and burned together with the aircraft.

Courage squadron leader and his deputy, made an impression on the enemy. By order of the commander of the 111th Infantry Division, which occupied Taganrog section “Mius-Front,” Major-General Reknagelya, Yegorov and Edinarhov were buried in the town cemetery with the leave-taking of position in such cases military honors.

As it turned out later, that day captured by the Germans got another pilot IAP 291 Lieutenant extracted. His plane was shot down by enemy anti-aircraft guns as part of the second link, the landing approach, but the pilot managed to escape by parachute. Unlike Gorbachev ml. Lieutenant Dobyteev refused to cooperate with the Germans, survived the horrors of the camps in 1945 was released from captivity, Special checks passed and was acquitted. An interesting fact is that the pilot was captured only on April 18, when that was shot down by the 17th. Probably ml. Lieutenant Dobyteev during the day trying to get away from his pursuers, making his way to the front lines.

German papers on POW Dobyteva:


Events in Taganrog became like a harbinger of heavy losses, which had to bear the Corps in the Kuban. In fact, it did not come to fight 3 IAK missed 5 Yak-1b, a Yak-7b and 7 people lost personnel. That’s seven, as in the Yak-7B with 15 IAP pilot Sergeant Grabelnikovym flying techniques Lieutenant Kondrakhin. In the archival documents of the 111th Infantry Division of the Wehrmacht has a record of the interrogation technique seriously wounded Soviet Lieutenant, without specifying his name, dated 04.16.1943, the Since then in any document Lieutenant Kondrakhin not mentioned, it should be assumed that soon after questioning Lieutenant Kondrakhin died from his injuries.
The fate of Sergeant Gorbachev for a long time nothing was known, all the documents he is being held as “missing”, but already in the regiment, there were persistent rumors that he enlisted in the Russian Liberation Army General Vlasov (ROA). Using German data it is now possible to assert with confidence. According to the German archives in 1943, Gorbachev fought on the side of Nazi Germany as a part of Russian squadron of the Luftwaffe and died in the stretch aircraft Me-109 of 01/06/45 Such is the complicated history of courage and betrayal of friends, fellow soldiers.
As for the Germans captured Yakov, the these “prisoners” can not help too, were in the service of the Luftwaffe.

In his memoirs, AI Pokryshkin writes that in the sky of the Kuban in the summer of 1943 he had to deal with captured yaks, enemy combatants. Other pilots, members of the Battle for the Caucasus remember that in order to destroy these planes, there were days when the Yak-1 Red Army Air Force banned flights and the rest of the fighters to give commands to destroy all met their Yak-1 regardless of the insignia.
I must say that the Yaqui Egorov and Gorbachev were not the only trophies Nazis Kuban. In the German archives have photos of the Soviet Yak-1B with the inscription on board “Stalin’s Falcons Leonid Smirnov of workers Frunze district of Saratov,” made ​​at the airport based aircraft of the Luftwaffe Anapa in May 1943.


And now, lovers of “sharp little” and Photoshop. For example, the site “Military album”

posted the following photo:


Is not it very similar to the original, but still shines as the quality, compared with the previous image!

Look closely at the tail unit: in a picture where the plane with a star, between the keel and the rest of the tail is clearly visible crack that runs vertically through the entire star. In the second photo on the swastika there is this gap. Hence the conclusion that the German symbols applied in Photoshop and most qualitative way.

Just recently commented on a photo archivist and historian Aleksei Pekarsh:

“Black Cross on yaks were deposited as transit opoznovatelnye marks the distillation of Germany, and not for use in the fighting”

But back to the documentary sources.

According to the archive documents TsAMO aviation squadron commander of 148 IAP 287 IAD Captain Smirnov and his squadron of three pilots: Lieutenant Sviridov, a lieutenant and a sergeant Tsirihov Dronov did not return from a mission of 05/06/43 from the area of the village Neverdjayevskaya. However, later it was found that in this day Captain Smirnov made ​​sortie on another plane, due to a technical malfunction of its Yaka. This mystery, we again found in the archives of the enemy. Yak-1B – gift “Stalin’s Falcons Leonid Smirnov of workers Frunze district of Saratov” (hull number 2) got the Germans May 11, 1943, when the airport Anapa pilot landed 148 IAP Senior Lieutenant M.Shkomplektov. Slovakia, based in Anapa, took the pilot prisoner. On the causes of aircraft landing at the airport of the enemy is not known reliably. According to the documents TsAMO, after the war Shkomplektov was repatriated to the Soviet Union. Already in the late 90s, in one of his interviews Slovak pilot JG 52 Jan Rezhnyak has described this event:
“Once Russian pilot landed in Anapa and jumped out of the plane next to us. He jumped out of the cockpit and immediately said that he wanted to fight with us. Germans he was interrogated. It was summer, and he was sitting there in the long leather gloves. I did not understand why, but then looked inside the plane, and said that he – the hero that all flew on this plane. I sat on the plane and I had all hands in the blood, so were mittens, there protruded the devil knows what. Pokryshkin later wrote in his book that he allegedly got lost with a brand new airplane he was flying from the factory. That’s not true, specially flew to us.
“The personal file Shkomplektova, deposited at the archive, torn photo. In single photo Shkomplektova that we were able to find in the German archives, he was still in Soviet uniform sitting at a table with the pilots of JG 52.

The personal file Shkomplektova have such a record.

And here is the prisoner of war records:

Captured handed fighter plane squadron of Luftwaffe JG 52. On May 12, after testing it surpassed in Taman, and then to Kerch. This machine is also used by the Nazis in the battle, as the reports of the Soviet side noted opponent of the use of the Yak-1 with yellow stars and an inscription from the cockpit to the tail. Subsequently, the fighter was sent to Germany, where he showed the supreme command of the Luftwaffe at the show trophies September 3, 1943 in Rechlin, and then put up for public viewing in Mecklenburg. The further fate of the aircraft is unknown.
The first Yak-1 with distinctive white stripes on the wings, for which our soldiers later nicknamed him “striped devil”, appeared in the area w / station Abinskaya. Then a single plane with a strange no one gave a coloring matter, but later began to notice that it is always preceded by the appearance of enemy air attacks. Command became suspicious and asked the pilot to 4 IAP 287 IAD lieutenant IV Shmelev hunt down and destroy aircraft traitor. After 5 days in late April 1943 in an air battle near Gelendzhik order of command has been executed, “striped devil” in flames down the mountain. This story is described in detail in the story of Sergei Andrianov “Warrior” ace of diamonds “.
It should be noted that in the aftermath Yaks with specific identification marks more than once will cause trouble to our pilots and appear in their combat reports. So in the situation report 265 IBP number 39 of 05/28/43, the it says:
“During the period 19.00 – 19.10 in the area of SW Kiev N = 3,000 m Art. Lieutenant Rubakhin was attacked 1 ME-109, in the wake of which there were 2 Yak-1 with red kokami and white lettering on the fuselage, with red stars and no license plates. Right plane had striped coloring, left green. The Yak-1 is located in close proximity to the attacker Rubakhin Me-109, but the fire did not lead him on. Senior lieutenant Rubakhin reported that these two Yak-1 to pursue our territory Pe-2 and were shooting at them. After Pe-2 repulsed the Me-109 and two Yak-1, observed Rubakhin 2 Yak-1 with the Me-109 went to the west. Art. Lieutenant Rubakhin believes that the plane did not return from a mission ml.Lieutenant Ishkhanov was shot down by the above two Yak-1. ”

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